Just imagine that Man Monis, rather than displaying an Islamic flag in the window of the Lindt coffee shop, had brandished a banner bearing the chorus of what is arguably the most stirring Catholic hymn, Faith of our Fathers. It goes like this:
Faith of our fathers, holy faith!
We will be true to thee till death.
Faith of our fathers, we will strive
To win all nations unto Thee;
And through the truth that comes from God,
We all shall then be truly free.
Now assume that this hypothetical siege ended as did the real one, with two innocent Australians dead and a gunman returned without apology to his Maker. Further, imagine what might be the reaction if you, a Catholic, were to contact the Age or Sydney Morning Herald with the offer of an Opinion page piece that would put the incident “in context”.
Yes, you would have to concede while pitching your proposed column, that particular verse does state that it is the Catholic goal to “win all nations unto Thee” and that, until then, humankind can never be “truly free”, but you really need to ignore all that.
“You see,” you might continue, taking your cue from Muslim apologist Maria Bhatti in today’s editions “that verse is all about my personal faith – my desire to ‘to build community ties, and promoting love service, kindness, humility and other virtuous traits for a more meaningful life’.”
One doesn’t need much in the way of imagination to hear gales of laughter cackling from the phone’s earpiece if you, a Catholic, tried that one on for size.
Molested altar boys…sexism that forbids female priests… opposition to abortion … that bastard Pell … and why can’t Bruce and Norm get married in St Mary’s? Answer me that, you papist bigot, now get lost before I sool David Marr on you.
The response would be something like that, most likely, which suggests, were she to stop endorsing $300,000 payouts to convicted swindlers, there might actually be a genuine and worthwhile issue of fairness for Human Rights Commissioner Gillian Triggs to address. When it comes to peddling cant, distraction and obfuscation, Muslims are favoured suppliers.
The evidence is in today’s Fairfax Press, where Monash University PhD candidate Maria Bhatti takes the shahada, that absolutist profession of faith in Allah and his Prophet, and does her best to make it an innocuous, unremarkable few words. Why, it must surely have been a coincidence that Monis chose to put it on display for all the world to see! (Perhaps he had planned to display a souvenir tea towel but grabbed the wrong rag by mistake.)
And would a Catholic apologist for a murderous fellow adherent of the faith be allowed to get away with howlers like this:
Monis “ had no links to IS”
No links, except for professing his support for the butchers and demanding that he be supplied with an official IS flag, which differs from the shahada only by minute calligraphic degree. And then there is this…
“Muslims all around the world watched with dread”
Well, not all Muslims
If Ms Bhatti is serious about Allah’s mercy, she might seek some on behalf of the SMH, where competent sub-editors seem to regarded as the inky set’s shaytans. The number of literals in her column suggests they are legion.